Community Hay Harvest

Over at Spitalifields Life there’s an excellent report about the hay harvest at Hackney Marshes, organised as a fantastic community event for everbody to join in, have fun, fresh air and keep fit in the process:

In celebration of Lammastide, which marks the beginning of the grain harvest, Contributing Photographer Colin O’Brien & I went along to join the mowers wielding scythes on Hackney Marshes at the weekend. Although scything exists in the public imagination as a resolutely macho activity, we discovered a range of participants of both sexes and all ages eager to take up scythes and set forth onto the grasslands.

Devised by Kathrin Böhm & Louis Buckley, this is the third year of Community Hay Harvest upon the Lammas Lands, which were originally drained for agriculture in ancient times and exist now as one of the last areas of natural marshland in London, protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

In the nineteenth century, this became the location of conflict when the East London Waterworks illegally fenced off some of the marshes and, on 1st August 1892, several thousand local people turned out to take down the fences and reclaim the Common Land …

See the great photos and read more here.

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